When is the last time you packed up and went camping for the weekend? Getting out of the city and back to nature is something many of us don't do often enough. Those who do camp on a regular basis however, often seem to be more relaxed and connected to the environment. Cooking over an open fire and getting far enough away from light pollution to see and appreciate the stars can be amazing!
All you really need is a sleeping bag, some bug spray and firewood. If cowboy-style sleeping under the stars isn't your idea of fun, buy or borrow a tent. It's always a good idea to do a test run and set up the tent ahead of time to inspect for any holes. Similarly, if you are using air-mattresses instead of sleeping foam, consider blowing the air beds up ahead of time as well. Ensuring there are no required patch-jobs can make the difference between a good night's sleep, or a sleepless night contending with the cold, hard, possibly wet ground.
Renting an RV or recreational vehicle is another option. Tent trailers can be rented as well. Many people prefer to have solid walls and a proper roof to keep them separated from wildlife and the elements. Hard-walled trailers are often safer if you are camping with small children. They typically have locking doors instead of a flimsy tent zipper. The rental place will tell you if your current vehicle has the capacity for towing. Alternatively, consider a motorhome style to drive.
Tarps and Rope: Don't Forget Them
Tarps and ropes should be in included in any camping gear. If it ends up raining, a tarp strung up overhead can keep your entire tent area much drier. Besides, they come in handy over top of your picnic table or eating area. Not only good for staying dry, tarps offer you extra shade too.
Being surrounded by dense forest and camping along a river can be magical; especially if you are an avid fisherman. Camping along the beach is a much different experience than staying in a large hotel. Reconnecting with nature is good for the soul. You will see plenty of birds and local wildlife by setting up camp within their natural habitat. The stars will take your breath away once you are away from the city. Look up some constellations and try finding them.
Turn Off Your Technology
Remember, you are out here for some rest and relaxation and to reconnect with your sense of adventure. Leave your laptop and cell phones at home. If you have to bring them, lock them up in your vehicle so they do not tempt you. It is time to read, paint rocks, build stick figures, hike, enjoy the fire, roast marshmallows and smell the wildflowers.